The future of Stewart Downing is becoming more clear as the days progress, with TeessideLive reporting that Blackburn Rovers have held talks with the free agent.
Tony Mowbray has confirmed talks have taken place between his club and Downing, although the player is yet to make a decision either way.
Despite that, the Rovers boss remains calm about the situation, and refuses to implement a deadline for Stewart to make a decision.
Speaking to TeessideLive, he said: “Stewart is an out of contact footballer. I’m relaxed and comfortable.
“If Stewart Downing wants to come to Blackburn Rovers then I think he’s a very talented footballer.
“If he wants to go to any of the other clubs that have been mentioned then that’s fine also, whether that’s to play more football or earn a few more quid.”
Stewart Downing has worked with Mowbray previously, during an earlier spell atn iddlesbrough. That could prove pivotal to him signing, although the 34-year-old winger has also worked with Rangers boss Steven Gerrard before too.
“I know him from my ties with Middlesbrough Football Club over a number of years and he has decisions to make. He has options. My personality isn’t to beat him with a stick and say ‘if we don’t know by Friday then forget it you’re not coming’.
“Footballers have to make the right decision and if they are to come to your football club they need to weigh things up, decide what’s right for them, feel the positives or negatives about what the managers have spoken about and then make the decisions,” added Mowbray.
Downing scored only two goals in 40 matches for ‘Boro last season, which is perhaps why he was released. However he has years of experience under his belt and could be a valuable player in the Championship or elsewhere.
Given Mowbray’s relaxed approach to the deal, it must mean that either initial talks did not go too well so Mowbray is not confident of landing his signature, or that Rovers have a number of other suitable candidates in mind who they will target if Downing turns them down.
At this stage of his career Downing would be a squad player for Rovers, but he is no longer good or fit enough to start games regularly in what is a fast-paced league.